Brighton Half-Marathon, UK
Sunday 17th February, 2013
57F / 14C
Total Time = 01:43:41
Overall Rank = 1539/7542
Part of my first Half Ironman Race was the requirement to do a Half-Marathon prior to it. This was to see how far my training has come, and if I could stick to my race strategy when under race simulation. The race chosen was the Brighton Half-Marathon; partly because it fitted into my run up to the 70.3, and partly as a buddy of mine chose the same race and my thought was that we could run together. It makes any running race more fun if you know somebody as you can use each other for pacing and encouragement when needed. Race Strategy was simple with pace set at 5.15min per km, take a gel every 45minutes and a bit of water at every refreshment station. Under no circumstances get caught up by other runners going faster or slower, and simply try to enjoy the run. After all it was just another day of running, no different than any other day.
Race Strategy went out of the window at race start, as my buddy had to put our predicted times down so that we would be in the correct starting block, and that resulted in an overoptimistic race time with a predicted finishing time of around 01:35:00. And off we went like chicken, way to fast for me, but I was not thinking straight and just got caught up in the moment. I did tell my buddy that if I slowed down at any point to not worry about me, and just to do his own race. At the 5km mark it finally hit me, that the pace set out was unsustainable and I decided to slow it down to a more manageable 5min/km. This meant that I was on my own and just running against myself, with me not having done this distance before. The first 10km went by quick, and only at the 15km mark was I tiring, but with the crowds being very supportive no stopping was allowed by me. The last few km were hard with another gel required and simply looking at the floor and putting one foot after another one. I knew that if I stopped now to take a breather would mean that I be walking a lot for the rest few km. It must be a mental thing, as I believe that as long as I keep going that I would be okay. No walking allowed.
1km to go and I saw my partner who shouted at me and encouraged me, and with 600m left I decided to speed up. Massive mistake as my quicker pace lasted exactly 100m, with the last 500m being pure pain. Sometimes a sprint finish is not required, especially if the sprint starts to early. Final time 01:43:41. Faster than I expected.